Former Crewe manager Dario Gradi has apologised for “not recognising signs of abuse” carried out at the club by paedophile Barry Bennell.
Bennell – who worked at Crewe in the 1980s and ’90s – is serving a 34-year sentence after being convicted of child sexual abuse five times.
On Wednesday an independent review found Gradi, Crewe’s manager from 1983 to 2007 and again from 2009 to 2011, “should have done more” to investigate concerns about Bennell but said he was not involved in a cover-up.
It is the first time Gradi has issued an apology on the matter and comes a day after a victims’ group called for him to be stripped of his MBE.
“I wish to express my deepest sympathy for the survivors and their families,” Gradi, 79, said.
“I sincerely and personally regret that the harm being caused to these young people was not discovered at the time.
“I apologise for not recognising any signs of abuse at the time.”
More to follow.